Fatal I-5 crash leaves three dead, two injured

Michele Lutes/The Signal
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Three people were killed and two others were injured in an early-morning wrong-way traffic collision on the Interstate 5 freeway just south of Santa Clarita on Friday.

California Highway Patrol officials were first notified of the collision at approximately 3:30 a.m. and were called to the scene on the northbound side of the I-5 transition to Highway 14.

After arriving at the site of the crash, investigators determined that at approximately 3:21 a.m., two of the victims — driving a 1998 Honda — were heading down the northbound side of the freeway in the wrong direction, driving southbound on the northbound side of the I-5 for unknown reasons, according to the incident report.

The Honda then collided with a 2017 Ford Mustang that was heading in the correct direction on the northbound side, sending the second vehicle, its driver and passenger into oncoming traffic on the southbound side, eventually striking a 2001 Chevrolet and its sole occupant.

The Honda driver, whose age and city of residence is unknown at this time, and his passenger, described as a 49-year-old Long Beach man, sustained fatal injuries and were pronounced dead on arrival by first responders.

The two female occupants in the Ford Mustang, described as 18-year-old and 19-year-old residents of Palmdale, sustained major injuries and were transported to a nearby medical facility, according to officials. However, the younger passenger was pronounced deceased once she arrived at the hospital and the status of her driver is unknown at this time.

The driver of the Chevrolet sustained minor injuries and was released from the hospital a short time later.

A Sig-Alert was issued by 5 a.m. for the I-5 northbound transition onto Highway 14 for all lanes as CHP personnel conducted their investigation. By the time the Sig-Alert was lifted at around 8:30 a.m., investigators had determined that alcohol and/or drugs were a suspected factor in the collision, according to their report.

Next of kin for the deceased parties have not been notified as of 1 p.m. Friday and officials are therefore not releasing the victims’ identifications. For additional information regarding the deceased, please contact the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

Anyone with information regarding this collision is encouraged to contact Officer Sanchez at the Newhall CHP Office at 661-294-5540.

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